Following on from the success of a national campaign to highlight the dangers of sharing human Christmas foods with pets, Adam Henson has teamed up with Devon-based natural pet food company Forthglade to encourage dog owners to carry out quick and easy home-based health checks, with a simple step by step video guide.
“January is a natural time of the year for reassessing our own health, whether it be joining the gym or making health-related New Year’s resolutions. So, it seems a logical time of the year to get pet owners thinking about the health and wellbeing of their beloved dogs too” explains Henson.
“Regular visits to the local vet are vital but there’s a lot that we can do ourselves at home to ensure our pets remain happy and well. Checking your pet for just five minutes, once a month could help you spot potential health problems early on, avoiding discomfort for dogs and potentially hefty vet bills” comments Adam.
Micro-chipping is one of the fundamentals to keeping your pet safe. Micro- chipping ensures that if your dog ever gets lost, there is an easy way for it to be tracked and returned to its rightful owner.
Basic training is often over-looked due to cost or time but it can make a huge difference to a dog and the relationship it has with its owner. It doesn’t have to cost the earth – a lot of basic training can be done at home, with a few treats and a little patience. Training can make a huge difference to the behaviour of your dog, from pulling on the lead, to how they interact with strangers or children. It can also lead to good behaviour in the home, avoiding bad habits such as chewing furniture or other household items that can be costly for the owner and harmful to the dog.
A good diet will naturally help every element of a dog’s health; their weight, energy levels, teeth, eyes, coat and of course behaviour. Effects of a poor diet can be gradual, but very damaging. Research the right food for your dog and know the right portion sizes for your breed. Foods that are 100% natural and free from colours, flavours and preservatives are far better for your pet. Also find a food that’s aimed at the correct age of your pet. Puppies, adult dogs and senior dogs all require a very different diet. Forthglade offers a Natural Lifestage range that focuses on a dog’s dietary needs at the different stages of its life.
An area you can look at yourself to check on general health. Owners need to look out for clean white teeth, no food build-up and no visible signs of decay. Gums should be nice and bright pink. Like with humans, a healthy diet will manage dental care for you, so most importantly, get the diet right.
Daily grooming is important; it enables owners to check for ticks, fleas and any areas of skin that may be dry or sore. It’s also important to avoid matting in fur which can lead to a host of problems. Of course it goes without saying to keep up to date with tick and worming medicines from your vet.
When looking at paws and claws you need to be slow, gentle and reassuring with your pet as it will feel unnatural to them at first, but within time, they’ll soon get used to it and relax when you pick up a paw. Look for sore areas, objects that may be stuck and cause discomfort and keep an eye on claw length. If claws are not getting worn down naturally then they may need clipping at the vets or home if you are able to do it carefully yourself.
Eyes and ears
Some dogs may not like owners checking their eyes or ears, but after a month or so of performing these checks, they will get used to it. It’s helpful to check that eyes and ears are clear and clean – any concerns with dirt, wax or potentially things like ear mites should be raised with your vet promptly, as these problems can be easily fixed, but if left, may cause great discomfort and big vet bills.
Products from the Forthglade Natural Lifestage range can be purchased in-store at Pets at Home, online at www.petsathome.com and www.fetch.co.uk or at your local pet shop.Last modified: June 10, 2021